It’s well documented that the entire year for children revolves around December 25th, Christmas Day when Santa Claus travels the world in a single night delivering toys to all of the little boys and girls (And he does, don’t you dare tell me otherwise). Of course not all children are created equal, and thus some are more deserving than others of that special gift only jolly ol’ St. Nick can deliver. The naughty ones might find a lump of coal, the nice ones might get an Xbox or something fancy.
There’s no A’s Santa, but Raiders Santa is pretty close. (Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports)
I have it on good authority though that Santa doesn’t just evaluate the world’s children, he also takes time to check in on some highly skilled professional baseball players. I’ve managed to get my hands on his list for the Oakland Athletics and I thought I’d share some of the highlights for you all.
I’ll start with the positives, the nice list. The portions in quotations are lifted from Santa Claus’s very own list, this is great stuff.
NICE: Yoenis Cespedes
“Flashed a ton of talent in 2012, and didn’t gripe when moved from his natural position in center field to left even though he struggled at first. Cespedes was a fierce power hitter at times, while showing the ability to take a pitch the other way when needed. Will only continue to develop, so I’ll leave a .300 AVG with 30 home runs and 100 RBI and an All Star appearance under his tree for 2013.”
NICE: Brandon Moss
“Came out of nowhere to hit 22 home runs in just a partial season in 2012, and showed tremendous poise and character when his intial hot streak cooled off. He rebounded and managed to start hitting again. As part of the two headed monster at 1st base along with Chris Carter, Moss helped show that a platoon really can work. He’ll be very pleased to find a full season in Oakland, and continuation of his late blooming career under his tree for 2013.”
NICE: Grant Balfour
“While his fiery demeanor on the mound might be misconstrued as naughty by many observers, I understand that is just Grant’s way of working up his adrenaline when he’s ready to pitch. Besides, my elves love to RAGE along with the people in right field when he comes in. He really showed me a lot by holding down the closer role down the stretch. As a reward he’ll be the closer once again in 2013, and I’ll be sure to leave 40 saves under his tree.”
Naughty: Jemile Weeks
“I’m not sure exactly what Jemile was trying to accomplish by hitting so many balls in the air, he has so much speed and he really needs to use it. Besides that’s what got him called up in 2011 in the first place, contact hitting and speed. Jemile saw his playing time reduced and spent some time back in the minors because of his problems. He really needs to pick it up in 2013 if he wants to be part of this team’s present and future. He’ll get some coal in his stocking, but I’ll leave him some video footage of himself in 2011 under the tree so he can help himself get back to his rookie form.”
NAUGHTY: Bartolo Colon
“The A’s were much more forgiving than I was for his positive test for synthetic testosterone when they resigned him for 2013. He acted like a good boy on the surface, but it was clear he was up to no good when we weren’t looking. He needs to keep himself clean in 2013 if he wants to get back on my nice list. I’ll let him keep his control, but I’ll probably have to take away a few miles per hour on his fastball, he’ll have to make due. I’ll leave him an Athletics jersey under his tree, he should be very thankful that he even gets that.”
NAUGHTY: Jesse Chavez
“He didn’t spend much time with the A’s, but every time he hit the mound it seemed like he was getting rocked. He’s very fortunate to have been in the Major Leagues to begin with. He needs to somehow learn how to keep the other team from scoring. If I see him do the same things on the mound next year that he did in 2012, I’ll be very disappointed and may not visit his house at all next year. For now, I’ll leave him a spot on the Athletics 40 man roster under the tree and he should feel very fortunate to have that.”
These were just a few snippets from the notes in Santa’s big naughty or nice list. I have to say the man has a lot more insight into the game than I ever would’ve expected. I always had him pegged as a hockey kind of guy for obvious reasons. He must have the MLB.tv package up there in the North Pole. I’ll check back tomorrow with a few more excerpts from his list, it’ll be sure to enlighten and amaze.